Post by Lauren
This Friday, I am grateful for the chance to have a little taste of Thanksgiving in Geneva. The cooking group that I am in organized a potluck at A.L.’s beautiful home.
It was lovely to share a Thanksgiving meal with women of many different cultures, including Holland, Canada, Switzerland, Rwanda, Germany, Qatar, Japan, Australia and the US.
Our gracious host brought back Thanksgiving plates, napkins and other goodies from her last trip to the US, so everyone could appropriately experience the typical decoration.
We had such a beautiful assortment of everyone’s favorite treats to share with the group, both savory and sweet.
Since there are many reasons why Thanksgiving is difficult here in Geneva, I was just so grateful for a nice day spent sharing our American tradition with wonderful women.
Top Reasons why celebrating Thanksgiving is more difficult in Switzerland:
1-They don’t celebrate the holiday at all here, making it impossible to get supplies. At least for Halloween, some factions of the French participate in this holiday, so they do sell limited costumes at a few stores for the ex-pats and French
2-It is nearly impossible to find a whole turkey. They do sell “dinde” here (turkey in French), but it is only in parts….a tenderloin, legs, little chops. So, you have to find a place to custom order it. And if you find one:
3- It’s guaranteed he’ll already be without skin, making it difficult to seal in the flavor
4-You will pay at least $180-200 USD for a small turkey. He is guaranteed to be free- range, organic, etc. since the other types of birds don’t exist here, but a big ouch to the wallet!
5-A whole turkey will likely not fit in your oven. Remember, all Swiss appliances are tiny. It’s like living in a dollhouse. Luckily, our host measured and determined that the whole one wouldn’t fit in her oven, so she just got an assortment of tenderloins and legs to cook so we could have a taste of turkey.
6-On the same note of our oven being the size of a US microwave, so you have a hard time getting side dishes cooked and re-heated at once.
7-No power settings or defrost settings on a microwave. So my typical way of softening butter is out the window!
8-No shortcuts like boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. And no fried onions in a can for green bean casserole. Everything must be from absolute scratch.
9-You can find canned pumpkin here at the American store, but its 8 dollars a can. Whoa!
10-Luckily our host had a beautiful spacious apartment. But this is atypical here, so a US sized Thanksgiving might have a difficult time fitting into a traditional Geneva flat.
Bon weekend, everyone!